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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 4, 2013 9:15pm-10:01pm EDT

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>> it takes so much time. it reminded me when members of congress would be paid for speeches so the whole schedule would revolve around this. but ultimately they came to the conclusion that it had an impact of the people back here in town. >> that's right. this includes one less level of raising money. because that is a huge time-consuming efforts. >> you can watch this and other programs at booktv.org.
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next on booktv, the author of four nonfiction books, including millions like us, women's lives in war and peace. 1939 to 1949. this is just over half an hour. >> author virginia nicholson is with us. she's talking about women in war. when did you come up that topic? >> well, it is something that is close to my heart. both ideas run hugely alongside each other which are inextricable from war.
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and the idea was to look at women who have been left single after these hugely terrible slaughters of world war i. in this country, many women and men died in the western front. they realized that there wasn't enough to go around. it was a consensus in 1921.
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this includes the economics and i discovered it was a kick start to feminism. many were chaining themselves to the precepts of war. but then it came around and a very big way. simply because there were so many women flooding the market. trying to find lives for themselves. those who turn their own lives around and turn the lives of other women around in the process. so that was the first book. i wrote another book so much about this.
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it was looking at the blockade of the 1940s. i think that it is something that is very much part of an academic historians talents. so in a sense, it was almost an advantage. in this includes what i know about the second world war. this includes a lot of what other people know. it was about the battle of britain. the belt battleships.
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so in other words it is about guns and men. that is what i set out to do. just really to try to paint a broad picture. >> he said that women had to reinvent themselves after world war i after the death of so many men. >> i think that it is safe to say that the 1920s as is a
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decade where a lot of women started to enter the profession this includes the council and the achievements that was one direction that we took that was kind of pushing it to the profession, kind of pushing into new fields. campaigning in activism and organization.
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there was a national spinsters association set up by one of these wars in the north of england. and she tried to get those who were discriminated against them. they were having to make their own way. so she was a great campaigner. i think it is more intimate, she was more emotional, i guess, if you'd like to phrase it that way. this includes the arch towards motherhood. the physical needs.
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that was something that took a lot of exploring. it was something that women have to deal with. this includes the american heroes. and she wrote a book called married love. it was a book that was completely targeted we are accustomed to this information and this is not always the case in the war period.
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many women wrote and said that, you know, can you explain, can you help us talk about how to stop having babies and et cetera. there were is a wheelbarrow of letters. but these urges that i am feeling, i'm starting to think that it was more than just condoning extramarital sex. so it was something that she was very concerned with.
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so many women are dealing with their sexual macker does.. they are dealing with the urges and the idea is can they deal with it more than once a month and will it cost herbal damage.. and i think that this is a very difficult type of thin w. so there is this whole idea. there is no question that women form relationships.
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so this book has never been out of print. and the minute that that hit the press, and shareable scandal broke out. it didn't look so safe and cozy after all. that is the way things are going with this. so i don't make an assumption that women who live together are necessarily cavorting in bed. >> virginia nicholson, was there a rise in single motherhood
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during this period because of the 2 million plus women? >> we are coping with single motherhood a lot of times. and i think that a lot of women handle it fabulously. they allow themselves to have sex with a man that had taken advantage of them -- it might bring them confidence or a relationship. of course, many times women were abandoned.
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one woman said that she was going to adopt. and then she did go and adopt her baby. and she was a woman of the church. she was a lay preacher. she was a religious journalists journalist at the time. well you know, this is a process of elimination.
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this was a relationship that is a room emotional relief. >> what about poverty rates. also social welfare programs. a further increases in both of those because of the single women after world war i? >> so in some of these will situations come the entire attitude is what we do about it.
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so this is part of the dominions to participate in this situation. the thought that this is how it works in society. actually, quite a number women tried this. as it is part of the negotiations for single women. so there was a shortage.
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what men did one is to actually -- it wasn't necessarily that they wanted to be part of a jungle in the bush, nothing like that. >> this is booktv on c-span2 and we are talking with virginia nicholson about some of her books. we have been discussing her first book on women in war. it is about world war i. her most recent book is about world war ii. what happened to british women once world war ii began reign. >> that is something that i set the task of finding out. i hadn't realized until i had research the second world war, that the bring women in this country are conscripted. but the situation was so bad
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with men doing desk jobs and factory jobs, they were actually needed. so there was -- you could do something about it without having a conscripted. the women were very much about having young children and dependents. they had to be performing on the farm, joining forces, so i think that a very large number turned out and became part of this system this includes the women's army and the one that was most
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desirable as well in this includes the things that really can be quite amusing. the thing that governs most women's decision was the uniform. this is a beautifully tailored jacket that we are talking about. what an adorable looking hat. so that was very popular at the time. also it seems like they really tried hard to participate. they all had to participate. >> virginia, were these married women or single women? how many were conscripted? >> well, i cannot tell you off
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the top of my head, but many women talking about this you know, well over a million women is the number that we are looking at that were conscripted into the services. especially when we talk about the factories on the farms. most of them tended to be single. most of them were single for the simple reason that they didn't have children. we had decided to work the transporter so she developed her
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shopping. and it was an absolute juggernaut. because women who worked in those kinds of roles were wise and still expected to have meals on the table. >> were most of these women housewives going into world war ii? >> well, many of them were young women, perhaps young woman would come from training, jobs coming universities, those who have been working.
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those are the jobs that women are expecting to do. >> so what is this? >> it is someone who left school, left there and left school young at the age of 14 or 16. so it was like the vast majority were the school it wasn't raised in the late century. so you know, we left school at 14 years old and likely you are done and he would do a job in a shop or factory for four or five
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years. >> so when the war ended, what happened to all these women who are now employed in a professional type of situation with men's jobs. >> well, of course they pretty much expected to go back where they came from. they had amazing responsibilities.
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and that led to a very large number of conflicts in complex situations. relationships were a colossal amount of adjustment meeting to be made. it was a passionate young man
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who was working. he had a relationship with a woman, they got married, he was away for five years. war broke out. he was one of the ones i was tortured in japan. she had an interesting time and she joined the ranks. and she was involved in she had a boyfriend and she only does recognize him when he came to the door. and he was broken about it. she realized that the level is still there.
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but nothing else was and it was just such a tiny little spark of love. she sacrifice sacrificed the rest of her life to him. she gave over to him. his health was ruined. his morale was kind of dreadful. his mental state was dreadful. >> were you able to conduct oral histories for this book? >> yes, absolutely. i do this for all my books. i'm talking through the
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experiences. i was talking to women in late 90s and early hundreds because it was such a long time ago. in the case of wartime women, there is still many women out there. the person i talked to was my mother. she was 96 years old. but at the time, she was a mere 92. so women who are ordinarily frighten, they started to gain courage. and it's spread out. her story was very sought out. she was in love with amanda was killed, killed in 1943. she had to get through the rest of the war in a state of tragic loss. she picked up her life postwar. and a very interesting way.
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she said we headed back, we had the blitz here in london. but she had never seen anything like hamburg and berlin. it was flattened. she wanted to see boston.
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>> speaking of your family, your first book is completely unrelated to women and war. is there any correlation between "charleston: a bloomsbury house and garden" and are later book, "millions like us: women's lives in war and peace"? >> that was the book that started me off as a writer, "charleston: a bloomsbury house and garden." the book was done in collaboration with my father. he helped me with the book. once the funeral was decently over, i had a phone call from the publishers saying that we need this book within three months time, do you think you could possibly get on with it.
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of course, my own interest that were underlying the story of this fascinating house. it is part of the museum and it is a beautiful and extraordinary, very special place hidden in the area where i now live. it's a farmhouse. some of us will know that it was the sister of virginia woolf.
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it just seems like with these kinds of people, those people of charleston, they were involved or 20 or 40 years, the house was decorated in so many artistic endeavors, almost covered head to foot. the chairs and the curtains and the lamps, the floors on the rugs. i wanted to know from my for my adult perspective, how did the
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grandmother cope with this house and what did she do about the children. what did she do about getting meals on the table and the bathrooms when all these people came to stay. what did she feed them on. that was tough my father was interested in. but i think that's the missing link. those are the questions i always ask. those were the questions that i think that readers, particularly women and readers want to ask. >> virginia nicholson, we also talked with [inaudible name] symantec and she is a spectacular writer who has done marvelous without biography. my father wrote about virginia woolf as well.
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a first biography about 15 years before hermione took it on. but his take was always to tell the life and he did not regard himself as a literary critic. he always vetoed that area. and that is something that i applaud. >> if viewers want to contact you, what is the best web address? >> i have my own website, virginia nicholson at .co.uk.
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i don't have a direct link, but my agent any mutations will be put through. especially when it comes to women of war and a topic related to the. >> i have talked a great deal about this in the century. the current book is about women in the 1950s. we are taking that take it literally in the 1950s and 1960s. it doesn't have a strong historical momentum of the previous decades.
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the reality i am discovering is that a lot of things happened in this time as though it had been a decade of extremes. it was a decade when you could look on the one hand to the mass membership of the young conservative movement. and on the other extreme, the invention of the teenager and rock 'n roll. as well as others of the women's institute. it is countrywomen who get together to make jams and jellies and sing hymns. it is just sort of cozy in the image is very cozy. again, the other extreme is the campaign of nuclear disarmament.
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she was part of cameron university in 1951. and i've talked to women who have come over from jamaica. it seems like the contradictions are a lot more extraordinary. a lot of us are remembering.
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i'm hoping you get a lot of readers. >> virginia nicholson is an author, booktv is in london. we appreciate your time. >> thank you so much. >> for more information on these and other interviews from london, visit booktv.org. >> were you reading this summer? booktv wants to know. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> let us know what you are reading this summer. tweak us at booktv, post on her facebook page, or send us an e-mail at booktv at c-span.org. >> big data is going to change how we live and work and think. our journey begins with a story.
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the story begins with the flu. every year from the flu kills tens of millions of people around the world. experts fear that it could kill tens of millions. the best authorities to -- the best that they could do is send out warnings. they had doctors reported cases. collecting the data and analyzing it takes time. the cdc was always a week or two behind, which is an eternity when a pandemic is underway. around the same time, engineers at google developed an alternative way to project the spread of the flu. not just nationally, but through the united states.
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they used google searches. google handles more than 3 billion searches per day and save them all. they took 50 million of the most common search terms that americans use and compare them with flu data going back five years. the idea was to predict the spread of the flu through web searches alone. they struck gold. what you're looking at right now is a graph. the graph is showing that after crunching through almost half a billion mathematical models, google identified 45 search terms that talked about the flu with a high degree of accuracy. you can see this predicted data from the search queries. but where the cdc has a two-week reporting lag, google could stop
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the spread of the flu almost in real-time. so their message does not involve contacting physicians offices, but it is the ability to produce valuable goods and services. let's look at another example. a company in 2003. he bought his ticket well in advance of the day of departure. it makes sense, but at 30,000 feet, the devil got the better opinion and couldn't help but ask the passenger next to him how much he paid. sure enough, the person paid considerably less. he also paid less, even though
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they have both bought the tickets much later than he had. he was very upset. so we are trying to figure out if you should buy things in advance that could affect the price. but instead he realized that the answer was kind of hidden and open for the taking. which is to say that all you needed to know was the price that every other passenger paid on every single other airline for every single seat for all of american civil aviation for an entire year. or possibly longer. it is possible. he scraped data and found out that he could predict with a high degree of accuracy whether
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a price that you are presented online at a travel site is a good price and you should buy the ticket right away, or whether you should wait and buy it later. when the price is likely to go down. he called his research project hamlet. to buy or not to buy, that is the question. but a little bit of data got a little bit of a prediction. three years later, he was crunching flight price records to make his prediction. almost every single flight for an entire year. that was quite a feat. microsoft wanted to talk to him and hire him. the point is that the data was generated for one purpose and used for another. so was a raw business. it had become a new economic
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interest. she recognized this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> will be reading this summer? booktv wants to know. >> i would like to have two books on hand. one that is pleasure reading and one that i will read at other times. my pleasure book this summer is very interesting. we are following teenagers into adulthood as they are striving to be exceptional people. the protagonist as she gets older starts questioning this idea or a balance or a lack thereof. and i think it is pretty pertinent to washington dc. in terms of my brain to come i will be reading the unwinding by george packer. and then i think it will be interesting to listen to is different vignettes and
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narratives. including youngstown, ohio, which is where i'm from. to exploit bigger scenes about america, increasing polarization, lack of trust in government and how that has progressed. it is pretty pessimistic. but i do think that it will be interesting. >> let us know what you are reading this summer. tweet us at booktv. post on her facebook page, or send us an e-mail at booktv at c-span.org. >> we have more coverage every weekend on booktv. along with our schedule, see our programs every week at booktv.org, join our online book club as we feature a current bestseller each month. follows on facebook and twitter. ..
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he's the man responsible for sending me to washington in 1999. and also to belfast and jerusalem as well. charles written the authorized biography of margaret thatcher. it takes her from her tboirt possibly her finest moments in

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